Proposed Needle Exchange
Yousaf of The Elixir Pharmacy Group was featured in a recent article in
the Edinburgh Evening News [October 19, 2009,
article reported that he planned to open a chemist shop at Dumbiedykes
that would include a needle exchange for drug users.
claims that he would run the needle exchange responsibly and that it
should result in fewer syringes being left in play parks and doorways.
Others have expressed concern that providing a needle exchange at
Dumbiedykes could result in more drug users coming into the area.
Yaseen recently contacted me, telling me about
his plans. He wrote:
"This story has evoked a lot of thoughts and
opinions on the subject. As you know, Dumbiedykes is a stone's throw
away from the Scottish Parliament and indeed the Royal Mile, but I doubt
many tourists see the poverty that is still rife in this estate, despite
some regeneration that has taken place over the years. It is
staggering to think that this estate is so close to where our politicians
Also, there is a vast number of drug addicts
and homeless people that congregate in the area. Dumbiedykes is still the
forgotten part of the capital. I want to open a pharmacy to cater
for these people.
We believe that it is difficult for residents
to access pharmaceutical provisions. The walk up Braidwood Gate and
the Pleasance is challenging, to say the least, and especially if one is
elderly or infirm. To access the Royal Mile Pharmacy, residents must
also walk up St Mary's Street, which is quite steep too. Also, there is no
bus service operating in Dumbiedykes now.
I am offering many more services, other than
the needle exchange. I hope that MSPs, residents, drug addicts and
the homeless can all access provisions from my pharmacy, without any
Historically, there has never been a pharmacy
in Dumbiedykes. My unit is going to be opposite the Salvation Army, next
to the watch repair shop in Holyrood Road."
Yaseen Yousaf, Edinburgh:
October 29, 2009